Today's Highlight in History:
On April 30, 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean, who was actually fired.
On this date:
In 1789, George Washington took office in New York as the first president of the United States.
In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million.
In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state of the Union.
In 1863, the design of the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America was approved by the Confederate Congress.
In 1900, engineer John Luther "Casey" Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad died in a train wreck near Vaughan, Miss., after staying at the controls in a successful effort to save the passengers.
In 1938, a precursor to the cartoon character Bugs Bunny first appeared in the Warner Bros. animated short "Porky's Hare Hunt."
In 1939, the New York World's Fair officially opened with a ceremony that included an address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1945, as Russian troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.
In 1968, New York City police forcibly removed student demonstrators occupying five buildings at Columbia University.
In 1983, blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters died in Westmont, Ill., at age 68.
In 1988, Gen. Manuel Noriega, waving a machete, vowed at a rally to keep fighting U.S. efforts to oust him as Panama's military ruler.
In 1993, top-ranked women's tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg, Germany, by a man who described himself as a fan of second-ranked German player Steffi Graf. (The man, convicted of causing grievous bodily harm, was given a suspended sentence.)
Ten years ago: International mediators presented Israeli and Palestinian leaders with a new Middle East "road map," a U.S.-backed blueprint for ending 31 months of violence and establishing a Palestinian state. Mahmoud Abbas took office as Palestinian prime minister. The U.S. Navy withdrew from its disputed Vieques bombing range in Puerto Rico, prompting celebrations by islanders.
Five years ago: The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for a seventh straight time, reducing the federal funds rate a quarter-point to 2 percent. An avalanche in Italy's northwestern Alps killed five French ski-mountaineers.
One year ago: President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, meeting at the White House, decried aggressive acts from North Korea, including a recent failed rocket launch, and vowed to maintain a unified front against such provocations. A ferry carrying more than 300 people capsized in a river in northeast India, killing some 100 people and leaving about as many missing.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Cloris Leachman is 87. Singer Willie Nelson is 80. Actor Burt Young is 73. Singer Bobby Vee is 70. Movie director Allan Arkush is 65. Actor Perry King is 65. Singer Merrill Osmond is 60. Movie director Jane Campion is 59. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 54. Actor Paul Gross is 54. Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is 52. Country musician Robert Reynolds (The Mavericks) is 51. Actor Adrian Pasdar is 48. Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 46. Rock musician Clark Vogeler is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris "Choc" Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 42. Rock musician Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) is 42. Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 42. Actress Lisa Dean Ryan is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Akon is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) is 40. Actor Johnny Galecki is 38. Singer-musician Cole Deggs (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 37. Actor Kunal Nayyar is 32. Rapper Lloyd Banks is 31. Actress Kirsten Dunst is 31. Country singer Tyler Wilkinson (The Wilkinsons) is 29. Actress Dianna Agron is 27.
Thought for Today: "Upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class is its future." — Ayn Rand, Russian-born author (1905-1982).
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